There isn’t enough discussion in athletic training and the fitness industry about proper landscape. That is, there’s no talk about how in the effort there must exist nothing else. I’m not just talking about distractions. I’m not just talking focus. I’m talking total commitment to that moment.
People tend to be shocked when they see my or client notes with details about foot placement, angles, tensions, breathing, frame of mind, and how that person was thinking and feeling about the lift.
Load, sets and reps are nice. Notes on range are better. But cover the whole landscape.
Monday morning I came in around 4am to squat. It was lackluster. I had not taken into account thought patterns, pre-breathing, and just the right intensity of mental effort. 500lbs felt heavy. I scooted through some other movements, then got ready for the day. I went through my 6am to 3pm appointments, all the while with a “what if” chirping in the back of my mind.
It ate at me. I knew I hadn’t surveyed the landscape. I knew I hadn’t brought the right intentionality. So in a break around 330pm, this happened (video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHc0ZOpH-Ik/). It still wasn’t 100% dialed in. But 11 hours into a work day, having already worked out that morning, I could take 620 x 4 (and it would’ve been more, but the friggin bar setup kept twisting on my shoulders).
I do enjoy other coaches’ emphasis on periodization, mobility, deloads, nutrient timing, etc. But, in my experience, all of it combined pales in comparison to the landscape. Landscape notation make the difference THAT DAY by 20-70% performance differences. One client achieved a 300lb split stance one week, only to fail on warmup the following at 120lbs. Setup, bracing, stance, breathing, and frame of mind are indispensable.